The effort by the Carson High girls track team to earn a state title will be a lot like the race to win the most Academy Awards.
While the movies with the most heralded stars usually win their share of Oscars, it's normally the films with the strong supporting members that come away with the most.
Carson has a strong returning cast that led the Senators to a second place finish in last year's NIAA 4A State Championship. But if the Senators are to come away with a state title this year, it's going to depend on how well their "role players" do.
"We have our main players," Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. "It's going to come down to the supporting cast."
Two of the Senators' top returning stars are Kayla Sanchez and Andrea Keirstead. Now a junior, Sanchez has already won six state titles, winning the 100 and 200 meters and the 300 hurdles in her freshman and sophomore years.
Keirstead is also a defending champion, winning the 110 hurdles at state last year. Keirstead is also strong in the 300 hurdles and the 200 as well.
It's no secret that Sanchez will again compete in the 100 and 200 along with the two hurdle events just as she did last year. "It's pretty much a given," said Ackerman about Sanchez's four events.
Keirstead could also compete in the same events as Sanchez, although another alternative may be to have Keirstead run in the 200, both hurdles, and the 4x200 relay.
Last year, Carson didn't have enough depth in the relays, qualifying for state in just one of the four relay events, the 4x400. The Senators finished second at state in last year's 4x400.
But Carson has been helped by the addition of sophomore Brandi Vega and Emily Field. Along with providing depth in the relays, they will also make their presence felt in the sprints. They along with Yvonne and Yvette Hollett, Gloria Sosa and another returning star, Christy Works, should give the Senators at least a fighting chance to qualify for state in all four relays. Works finished second in the 400 in state last year.
Ackerman said the most difficult relay for Carson to qualify for state will be the 4x800.
"I'm hoping to get all four," Ackerman said. "We're definitely capable of getting all four."
Ackerman said Sanchez, Keirstead and Works will have to have a similar performance this year as they did last year for Carson to have a shot at a state title.
He also said his team will have to do well in the relays and have others like Lisa Midboe qualify for state in one of the jump events and Dana Foltz and Jena Duralde qualify for state in the pole vault. It would also obviously help if Sosa could break through and qualify for state in one of the long distance events.
"That type of stuff has got to happen again and it can," said Ackerman about his returning stars equaling their performance from last year's state meet.
"If we stay healty - we've go to be a little luck - we'll make a serious push for the state title," Ackerman also said. "If we can get the right numbers through we'll make a good push for it."
Carson finished second to Galena last year at state and while the Grizzlies have lost a lot of points from last year, they can't be counted out. There's also Reno High, who will be strong in the long distances and should make some noise in the sprints as well.
Ackerman said his team may be beaten out at zone, but if it qualifies enough athletes, should be right there at state.
As for as the boys, Ackerman said, "we should be in the top four or five" as far as zone is concerned. Among Carson's top athletes include Chad Shroy, the reigning state cross country champion, Caleb Carter, Floyd Hernandez, Wade Smith, Mike Arnold, Ethan Graber and Shroy's younger brother, freshman Richard.
The Senators competed in a three-way meet over the weekend against Fallon and South Tahoe at Fallon. Carson's girls won the meet while the Senator boys took second to Fallon.
For the girls, Keirstead won the 100 in 12.5 seconds while Vega was second and Field was third. Sanchez won the 200 in 25.6 seconds while Julisa Gonzalez was second, Amber Karnofel was third and Kendra Krupp was fourth.
In addition, Sanchez won the 100 hurdles in 15.8 while Keirstead won the 300 hurdles in 47.2 while Field was second and Caroline Montiel was third. Carson also swept the relays.
Works won the 400 in 1:02.2 while Sosa was third. Jenny Mital was third in the 800 and 1,600 while Laura Sosa was fourth in the 800. In the pole vault, Dana Foltz was first while Jena Duralde was second, Megan Moore was third and Stephanie Adamson was fourth.
Adamson was fourth in the high jump, Megan Craig was third and Teddy Izzi was fourth in the shot put, Midboe was third in the long jump and Amanda Nelson was third and Craig was fourth in the discus.
For the boys, Chad Shroy won the 1,600 in 4:49.2 while Smith was second, Richard Shroy was third and Zach Mapes was fourth. Ethan Graber won the 3,200 in 11:50.6 while Tyler Davies was third.
Mike Arnold won the pole vault at 12 feet, 3 inches while Chris Moore was third and Bryan Byrne was fourth. Carson swept the relays as well.
Donald Foster was fifth in the discus, Cash Doty was third in the 100, Ean Witter was second and Ian Gentner was fourth in the 300, Hernandez was third in the 400, Carter was third while Smith was fourth in the 800, Matt Mattoon was second in the 110 hurdles while Phillip O'Neill was fourth and Luke Carter was second in the 300 hurdles while O'Neill was third.